A new clinic at one of Lewiston’s busiest intersections will give a dentist space to add a partner.
Dr. Travis Bartschi plans to relocate his practice, LC Smiles, to the new building on the southwest corner of Bryden Avenue and Fifth Street sometime in November or December.
The expansion provides space for Dr. Meghan Bristlin, a Lewiston native, who is joining LC Smiles this month.
Bristlin, who recently completed her dentistry degree at Midwestern University in the Phoenix area, is the daughter of Emily and Rick Holzer, owners of Lewiston’s Hot Shot Espresso.
“She wants to be here,” Bartschi said. “She loves the area.”
Bartschi and Bristlin do general dentistry for children, adults and seniors, providing care such as preventive exams, dental implants, wisdom tooth removal and cavity fillings.
The practice has a third dentist, Dr. Shad Helm, who works part time.
The move is a sign both of how his practice is growing and trends in the dental industry, Bartschi said.
Right now, he has four treatment rooms at a less-than-2,000-square-foot suite at a medical professional complex a few blocks from the new office.
“In another six months, we would be just about out of chairs,” he said.
The new clinic will have 7,000 square feet and eight treatment rooms, with room for six more, all on the main level, and an upstairs area for storage and administration.
Bristlin’s arrival will make his practice stronger, Bartschi said, allowing it to have longer hours and letting him split the costs of new expensive technologies, such as 3D imaging equipment, with more than one provider.
“To stay relevant and competitive, I’m aiming for the the future,” he said.
Choosing to make the investment in Lewiston is an indication of how much the Idaho Falls native has grown to love the community.
He first learned about Lewiston when he was enrolled at what is now Brigham Young University, Idaho, in Rexburg, where he was taking a class that taught students how to apply to medical and dental schools. A Lewis-Clark State College recruiter made a presentation one day, writing three numbers on the chalkboard, all in the mid- to high 90s. The figures were the acceptance rates for LCSC graduates who applied to medical, dental and physical therapy schools.
The pitch resonated with Bartschi. He did a little more research and found his wife would be able to substitute teach as much as she wanted, something that can be difficult in other college towns because they have so many teachers.
His choice helped him meet his goal of becoming a dentist. He earned a general studies degree with an emphasis in natural sciences at LCSC, then went to dental school at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., where he won one of a limited number of spots subsidized by Idaho, which has no dental school of its own.
He joined the dental practice of Dr. David Dortch after his graduation and later opened LC Smiles.
“There was good opportunity in Lewiston, and we liked it enough to come back,” he said.
Williams may be contacted at email@example.com or (208) 848-2261.